Time for a Little Bragging

Hello everyone!  Thought I would take a break from your regularly scheduled programming and bring you a bit of self-indulgence.  Actually, since I have very little to do with any of the honors, I should really classify it as some family bragging.  Take a look at what our little dude brought home from our recent trip to Michigan.

That is one proud puppy! As mentioned in some previous posts, we had the opportunity to head up north and compete in the UKC Premier Nationals. Raven and his mother were in the top 50 UKC Agility Level 2 (AG2) Toy Division (4″) dogs in the nation. This got them invited to their annual Premier where they go head to head in the agility ring.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of our little ball of fur.

Continue reading Time for a Little Bragging

Phoadtography – Yellowstone Trip 2013

Big day for the Peoria Journal Star’s website.  Apparently everyone I know was looking at their daily news feed based on the number of text messages and emails I got about one of their articles.  Apparently a local liberal arts college (Knox) decided to put all of their collective knowledge together and come up with a list of “creep” designating activities (and I bet they wonder what differentiates them from real colleges).  As expected, clowns are uber high on their list, but there was another reason everyone felt obligated to inform me … they included BIRDING.  Yes, folks, apparently this fine institute (cough) did an in depth study and determined that BIRDERS creep other people out.  Really!?! white guys over 45 (their classification, not mine) with binoculars standing in a meadow or woods creeps people out.  Now if said birder was socializing with everyone in the area.. that might be a bit creepy (hehehe), but birding … come one.  Apparently some survey takers should get out of the house a bit more.  Just imagine how debilitating it must be for someone scared of a birder to have an encounter with a clown – my guess, on the floor shaking in convulsions.

Today, isn’t about making fun of a liberal arts college (although it is fun).  Nope, today’s post is on a topic that has been few and far between – phoadtography!  I’m sure you are shocked.  Let’s start with this shot.

Phoadtography - Yellowstone May 2013

Admittedly, not a shot actually from the road, but was a fun little detour on our way out to Yellowstone back in May 2013.  As you know, Linda is all about the flowing water and Sioux Falls South Dakota had a nice set of rapids running through it.  I on the other hand tend to prefer statues (when no wildlife to hunt).  The Bison above is nice… but I like this next shot better.

Phoadtography - Yellowstone May 2013

How cute!  (although not sure what the North American Roller Hockey Championships has to do with a Bison.. hehehe.

Hit the jump to see more shots from our trip.

Continue reading Phoadtography – Yellowstone Trip 2013

A Vegas Photo Drive

It has been awhile since I’ve brought out a Phoadtography post!  So far you’ve been subjected to shots from the Vegas skyline, shots of Vegas from a photo walk and it just seems fitting that I close out the Vegas scene with a traditional “photos from the road” collection.  For those not familiar with the concept of Phoadtography, it is pretty simple.  Linda drives and I take shots of interesting things – in between my expert navigation duties of course.  To start us off on our little excursion I bring you the prototypical Sin City billboard…

I marveled at the genius of this particular advertisement.  It has so many alternative takes – are they talking about the Vegas Strip, the common theme of stripper shows in Vegas, how to strip a gun down and put it back for cleaning or don’t even think about stripping me of my Second Amendment rights.  This sign must make gun control advocates shake in their house slippers.  One goal activity Linda and I have not been able to cross off is to hit the Gun Store and fire off some (okay, maybe A LOT) of rounds from an automatic rifle – yummy goodness!

“Who ya’ Gonna Call?”

Clearly this was taken closer to the downtown area where these kinds of businesses are everywhere.  Almost as common as drive up wedding chapels.  Based on the vehicle outside of this place, business is good.  What happens in Vegas .. stays on your arrest record.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots!

Continue reading A Vegas Photo Drive

Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Part Deux

And were back with the second (for those that are not versed in French) and final part of the Phoadtography series from our Wisconsin/Michigan trip back in July of 2012.  We’ll likely close out the month with the Year End Summary post  since I’m trying to pull together a larger than normal effort for next month’s blogging entries although it might make it to February if some loose ends fail to come together in the next couple of days.  Meanwhile let’s stay on topic and get right to the latest set of shots of things that caught my attention while Linda was flying down the road.

The first shot is really more of nostalgia for me.  My brother Ron invited me along to one of his ski trips while I was in college – sometime between ’85-’89 with big bet on the late ’88 time frame.  That date solely based on an odd memory – on that trip I rode up with some of Ron’s friends from college who were still in grad school at the time.  I met them for the first time on that trip and then realized one of them was in my LISP programming class.  That realization came after noting one of the students was in a full suit – not uncommon for the higher level classes since a lot of the days were spent interviewing with companies that come onsite to recruit.  This was not what caught my attention – he still had all the tags on the sleeves and the temporary stitch that holds the coat tails together was still intact.  I was chuckling to myself when I realized I knew that guy – never got a chance to warn him after class so sure hope they overlooked that at during the overview.   But I digress (a lot).   We actually went skiing at Big Powderhorn where this shot was taken.

Three things I remember from that trip.  The cops pulled over the car I was traveling in and let the driver off because he found out he was an Illinois grad and that was where the cop took his training – Go Illini.  Secondly, they rented a condo at the top of the mountain – the ski lifts/tickets were at the bottom and the ONLY path down was to go down blacks – that was rough going seeing as how I was not at that level at the time.  And third Ron and I spent most of our time enjoying a run called Smoke which was a pretty challenging run down  through the lift poles – on reflection, the things I tend to remember are rather strange.  Anyway, we ended up driving past the entrance and figured I’d capture the moment – think that dude would look more cool with a Stormy Kromer?

Thought this was a pretty interesting coal/ore train model, complete with a clever set of rails which brought the cars out of the grass.  Nicely done although for the record, the caboose seems disproportionate to the rest of the train cars.

Okay, here’s a test – which one of the following is the best investment, the most capable and versatile machine for all your construction/digging needs…

Hit the jump to see the answer and see the rest of the images in this Phoadtography set

Continue reading Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Part Deux

Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Pt 1

All you stats aficionados out there are probably salivating at the moment thinking the time has come when Mr. Blogger is going to blow it.  Something like 4 days left in the year and looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 posts still to go.  Of course this isn’t just to close out the month, this is to close out the whole year of blogging… to come so close to putting a check mark on the 6th year and let it slip through your grasp.  Normally I would be worried, but this holiday vacation has found me in the digital darkroom just about every day trying to close out a big chunk of 2012… and maybe a little of 2011 (shame shame) – The bad news is the processing chemicals are getting to me and my memory is taking a fish slap across the face.  The results of this effort are about 650 pictures ready to make their way on to this site in the upcoming year.  I was falling too far behind and I really want to get to our more recent photo shoots because I think you’ll like how those came out – I also know our friends in Billings are patiently waiting for our Yellowstone shots taken when we were out there recently.

While going back through the images I stumbled on a set of Phoadtography shots that dropped off my queue somehow.  I need to do some verifying, but pretty sure there wasn’t a single Phoadtography post this year which is shocking based on all the trip opportunities we have had over the course of 2012-2013.  This means I have the perfect close to the month since:

a) The pictures are all processed

b)  The Phoadtography sets tend to span more than one post

c) and .. most important of all .. they don’t really require a lot of mental work to get cranked out – just look at a shot, make some snarky response about it and move on to the next.

Linda says snarky comes easy to me so this quota thingy should be doable.  With no more delay, I bring you the Phoadtography shots from our trip through Wisconsin and Michigan back in July 2012.  For the record, I’m pretty good with details up to about a year – now 1.5 years and beyond things start to get a little fuzzy on the specifics so exact locations of where these were taken on the trips is somewhere in the fog.

Honey, Enterprise Rental called, they said you can have a midsize available or if interested their new line of Quackmobiles.  If you go with the latter you’ll be able to make better time crossing all the rivers .. not to mention the awesome gas mileage – one loaf of bread  should be all that is needed to get us where we are going.

I have no idea what is up with this next statue.  As far as I can tell, they have a weird breed of eagle up there that has massively fat legs and matching claws.  They also possess some strange craving for ummm.. let’s go with an apple only because it is red and there appears t0 be worm coming out of the side of it.  Oh, did I mention that these particular apples tend to be carried around by bears.  Feel free to weigh in on this, I’m at a loss.

Then there’s this dead American Indian we spotted off the road – guessing this was at a roadside stop based solely on the little bit of sign on the right side.  Actually a pretty good sculpture, but just seems a bit strange to have a severed head sitting at a rest stop – not to mention void of all blood.

Hit the jump to see more shots from the road

Continue reading Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Pt 1

It’s Official, Society is Doomed

I’d like to start this post with reading from a popular song….

“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be”

At this point you should be staring down at a pinkish rendition of your most recent meal.. if not,  then you should introduce yourself much better genres of music (for starters, take a listen to The Gracious Few which appears to be about the only thing new worth listening to at the moment).  But my intention for referencing this umm garbage was not to make you sick, but unfortunately it was cheesy enough to fit the theme of this post… and that theme is “our society should be ashamed for openly torturing our young”.

Let’s look at Exhibit A:

I’ll wait a few minutes to allow you to catch your breath and bring your pulse back to a reasonable level .. tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock.  If you need to, shield your eyes so you can only see the text, we definitely understand.  What you saw just before trying to find the closest red hot poker to burn your eyes out was a scene that Linda and I came upon while we were at the University of Iowa medical facility.   Imagine if you will already being a little on edge from being there in the first place, but to turn the corner and encounter this horrific scene about stopped my heart on the spot.  So I get the whole Iowa Hawkeye pride thing (well, I actually don’t but let’s go with it for my marriage’s sake).  They obviously like their Herky mascot even though it is far inferior to my revered Chief Illiniwek symbol (it is not a mascot for you uneducated people out there), but hey, if you wanna be a chicken hawk have at it.  From a design perspective, I can totally get the concept of putting pride swelling decor in facility that gets it share of daily bad news.  But if you recall from your quick glimpse of the image above, some idiot decided to expand on that design point.  This particular walkway led to the children’s section of the hospital (we had to go through it to get to the MRI area).  Apparently some idiot had the awful idea to replace the yellow and black pride with …just a sec, gotta grab a bucket… raaaaaaaauuuuuuuuullllllllllllpppppphhhh  eeesh, that Twinkie looked and tasted better going down.. now where was I? oh right . replace it with a cl   rauullllgaggggrauuulllfffgaggg  .. sorry.. replace it with a clown outfit.  I’m sorry, but this horrific.  Imagine an innocent child already having to endure the fear and uncertainty that comes with having to be in a place like this and instead of cheerful trains or cuddly creatures like teddy bears and wolves, they are instead met with the embodiment of pure evil.  How can our society allow this cruelty to our young?

(Note, the ONLY reason this picture was taken was because I promised a coworker I would do this if they were able to find something that would help Linda’s vertigo and I always keep my promise)

Still not convinced our society has one foot in the toilet (hopefully flushed after our previous upchuck)?  Well, I give you Exhibit B (for the squeamish prepare to cover your eyes.

hit the jump to read more of this horror story

Continue reading It’s Official, Society is Doomed

Phoadtography: Visiting Our Friends to the North Pt 2

Greetings everyone!  This month saw the rare appearance of the back to back posts of a series with the Halloween decorations (link here).  Generally I try and avoid that in order to give adequate variety for my millions of readers (I am obligated to say that to keep from having to hear how many Peeps Linda has on that crappy Fadbook site of hers).  The reason for this is October’s posts were all done from the road. This has limited my post coverage to whatever I managed to bring along with me and could get done before shutting the lights out in the hotel room.   Today I am actually writing from the car with our trusty Verizon stick.  The light is too harsh to really post process pictures so instead I’m going to double up my series posts again with the second part of the North journey Phoadtography set.  For the curious, I’ve scheduled this release to coincide with when we expect to be back home – I didn’t want to advertise that our home was vacant so kept that out of my posts up to now.  So here we go with a post from the road about being on the road which can be viewed while you are on the road.

Let’s start with congratulations to Milwaukee for a a great baseball season!  All those predictions and high expectations we were subjected to by local radio and TV announcers made me think for a moment my Cardinals never had a chance.  Their pitching was better than my Cardinals, their hitting was better than my Cardinals and their fielding well that might have been better than my Cardinals as well.  But all that doesn’t matter to a Cardinal fan now does it? .. and why is that?  … cause my Cardinals are still playing !!!!

Did I mention I was a Cardinal fan?  oh.. well then for the record I’m a Cardinal fan!  Enough gloating, there is still one more game to get through.  Now on to a staple in the Phoadtography world.  The water tower.  I have seen pumpkins, golfballs and a giant smiley face, but this is the first time for a basketball.  This town must be in a sports dry spell if it takes this much pride in something that happened back in 1952.  Whatever keeps the faith I guess.

hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures in the great trip up North series.

Continue reading Phoadtography: Visiting Our Friends to the North Pt 2

Phoadtography: Visiting Our Neighbors to the North Pt 1

There is no rest for the weary these days.  I can see the edge of October and it is approaching fast.  The good news is I am down to one more post after this one and I think that is doable … at the moment.   I ended up losing yesterday because I forgot to process all the pictures for this post.  Soooo last night was spent getting that done and uploading them to our Smugmug account (Eddiesoft) so I could post tonight.

Today’s entry is from our trip up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in early October.  Linda and the boys were competing in the Petit Prix, also known as the Teacup Dog Agility Association National’s.  Although I have really nothing to do with this since I neither train the dogs or run them in the ring, that doesn’t stop me from taking credit for how well they competed in the event.  Both Kerby and Rizzi came home with a pile of ribbons and Rizzi even made the Semi-Finals consisting of the top 84 dogs in the whole event.  Of course, there is a reason I get to take some credit…. I have to take off work and help Linda haul everything to and from the car and these toy dogs travel heavier than Paris Hilton.  The good news is Linda drove most of the way providing ample time to snap some shots along the way.  With that, let’s get to the pictures eh ? (in my best Wisconsin accent)

Keeping with the Halloween theme from the previous posts, I’ll start with these.  My eyes lit up when I saw this pumpkin.  Just imagine the cool pumpkin carving I could do with one of these babies.  It might take a chainsaw instead of a Dremel, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.

Hit the jump for the rest of the pictures from the trip

Continue reading Phoadtography: Visiting Our Neighbors to the North Pt 1

Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)

Ummm well, a funny thing happened on the way to Lightroom today. I stumbled on the missing set of Phoadtography pictures we took on our Indianapolis trip. I knew there were pictures of a couple of signs that stuck out on the trip, and by stuck out I mean we actually made a conscious effort to snap some pictures when we came back through the town. The mystery was solved when they showed up in a secondary file in our Lightroom catalog. As a result, this series actually grew by one (see Part 1 Link and Part 2 Link). Depending on how things are looking toward the end of the month this particular post may not get included in the quota requirement giving you a bonus (yeah) month. Do not get too excited, my record so far hasn’t exactly been too stellar… but in my best Dumb and Dumber .. “so you’re saying there’s a chance”.

On a personal front, I’m under a week to my big event – after 4 or 5 more miles, the worrying and fretting will begin.

Starting out the third and final (I promise) Indy Phoadtography set, I give you one of the three best sign shots from the trip.

Linda gets credit for spotting this and actually the ones below.  Of course, she kept pointing them out to me when we are under 2 car lengths from them making it nearly impossible to get a good Phoadtography shot.  The final A-Count on the sign shots ended up being 4.  That’s right, it took a whopping 4 attempts to actually get the shot (and as the case above, a crooked shot still).  How embarrassing.  I should send myself back to the minors.  At least the next shot in the sign series is at least straight.. a little degrading to men.. but still straight.

Not sure if the “Primitives” sign was just piling on the insults or it was a coincidence with the outdoor decor.   Someone at this particular Hucks has some serious issues or there is a friendly man vs woman jesting going on.  As we passed the sign from the front (okay, okay, it was the 4th time) I happened to notice the other side also had lettering on it so I snapped it.  My exposure was not set right causing it to be a on the blurry side but you can still make out the jab.

For the record, that is NOT a cop car parked suspiciously behind the sign.  It is just a large white car with a giant flag on it… I wonder if Hucks sells donuts? ack.. nevermind.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures

Continue reading Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)

Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Pt 2 of 2)

Welcome to the 6th post for this month which successfully puts another check in the monthly post commitment and thankfully this one comes earlier than usual.  As you probably know I am usually rushing to get these babies done before day 30ish comes to a close.  Not this month, but that is primarily due to focusing on getting these done in order to spent the rest of the month (and some into the next month as well) focusing on a big personal event that is scheduled for September 11th.  Not really talking about it at the moment to keep from jinxing myself so we’ll just let that go for now.  On a side note, thanks to the ass Don Henley finding the need to come out in favor of the PROTECT IP Act (and using invalidated studies and hyperbole fear as a basis – must be learning from Gore), today marks the first day of never giving a penny to anything that funds the Eagles or Don Henley in any form.  This of course includes additional albums/CDs/DVDs to those already sitting in our shelves and god forbid anymore $75 tickets to their concerts.  Just my little way of helping make Donny-boy’s fake claims as real as I can – say, won’t you join me?

Enough ranting, you are hear for one and only one reason.. to fill the empty void when you found out there were even more phoadtography pictures from our Indy trip!  So, picking up where part one left off (link) I give you this sign found on a building as we were driving through a city.

Talk about a bad signage planning.  Reading this to someone would put them in a quandary.  Those Damn Pentecostals! or those Pentecostals are one Damn Ass Company.  If their lucky they would have seen the name of the city (Damasco) as they drove through.

As we drove into Indianapolis we spotted this hotel rising up above the trees.  From a design perspective it was pretty stunning and blended nicely with the environment.  Turns out our hotel was right near this Marriott and could have used it to navigate directly where we needed to be.  The construction around Indy had us uncertain we were on the right road and quite frankly the neighborhoods we were passing through had us a little concerned.  It all turned out okay, but simply heading for this landmark would have probably worked better.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the Indy Phoadtography Collection

Continue reading Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Pt 2 of 2)